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CHANDRASHEKHAR.

out to the crew. “Sorry, no room for you,” said they in reply and sailed away.

Dalani felt as if a thunderbolt had struck her. By that time Foster’s boat had gone out of sight, yet she ran along the shore with the hope of overtaking it. She ran a long way, but ultimately failed. Night had already set in, and it became dark. Nothing could be seen on the face of the river—only the gurgling of the fresh current after the recent rains was heard. Then like a plant torn up by the roots Dalani sank down in despair.

After a while, when Dalani found it useless to sit in the river-bed, she stood up and slowly ascended the bank. In the darkness no pathway could be found. Stumbling once or twice she got up on the bank. In the dim star-glimmer she looked round. No sign of a village or a hamlet anywhere—only a limitless plain and that gurgling river. Not to speak of any human being, not even a light could be seen on any side; not a village, no tree, no pathway; not an animal excepting jackals and dogs; only the stars could be seen dancing in the river current. Dalani made sure of certain death.

Not very far from the river Dalani sat down on a plain. At hand the beetle droned and the jackal howled. Gradually night deepened and the darkness grew weird and gruesome. At midnight Dalani was terrified to see a tall man roaming alone in that plain. Without uttering a word he came and sat by her side.

The same tall individual again. This is the man who had lifted Shaibalini up and slowly ascended the hill in the darkness.